Why does scoliosis cause back pain?
Scoliosis may result in back pain because it can place stress or pressure on the patient's spinal discs, nerves, ligaments, muscles and/or facet joints. 'S'-shaped scoliosis is typically less painful than 'C'-shaped scoliosis because the curvature is balanced more evenly.
Furthermore, if the spinal curvature is severe enough, the back muscles may also become more prone to painful spasms; these can cause the surrounding muscles to become inflamed, another potential source of pain.
Can scoliosis cause leg pain?
Many scoliosis patients report feeling pain in their legs and wonder if this pain is caused by scoliosis. If the curvature is so severe that it causes misalignment of the hips, this can change how the patient walks and may make the muscles tire sooner as the body has to over-compensate in order to maintain balance.
Scoliosis is also associated with lumbar stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). This can sometimes result in leg pain and nerve irritation.
What other pain can be caused by scoliosis?
If one's spinal curvature becomes too severe (typically above 80 degrees), this can lead to breathing/cardiovascular issues. This happens when the spinal curve causes the rib cage to twist, which in turn reduces the amount of space available for the lungs and heart. The rib cage may also then push up against the internal organs, which could cause yet more pain.
However, scoliosis itself is still not thought to directly cause pain, especially in infants and adolescents. If you do find that you are experiencing chronic pain as a result of your scoliosis, there are treatments available to help you with this; here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we offer non-surgical treatment courses to help scoliosis patients reduce pain and combat other symptoms of spinal curvature.